How We Do It
The health of the environment plays an important role in the health of every community. UnitedHealth Group is committed to minimizing our impact on the environment through responsible business operations. We have a company culture that heightens our team members’ awareness of the importance of preserving the environment, conserving natural resources and reducing energy in business operations.
In UnitedHealth Group facilities, we are endeavoring to reduce our controllable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions; purchase renewable energy; implement green building construction practices; and implement water conservation best practices.
• Reduced year-over-year controllable energy use by 2.84% and year-over-year greenhouse gas emissions by 3.87%.
• Completed 20 funded sustainability projects including interior and exterior lighting upgrades and water reduction projects.
• Implemented 18 low cost/no cost energy and water conservation projects.
• Maintained business operations in LEED-certified facilities (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) totaling 2.1 million square feet.
Data as of 2019
Waste Management & Recycling
UnitedHealth Group strives to reduce the amount of paper we use and increase the amount of paper we recycle by offering customers, clients, partners and team members paperless options through a variety of online tools and electronic delivery of forms, billing and other information. For example:
• UnitedHealth Group recycled 6,415 tons of paper and saved 109,074 trees. (Data as of year-end 2019)
• Customers now see online bills, web-based eligibility transaction processing, and online banking reports.
• Brokers get their commission statements and quotes online.
• Individuals we serve receive online explanation of benefits statements and health statements.
• Physicians find remittance advice, electronic payments, and real-time adjudication online.
• Shareholders receive proxy statements and annual reports online, and can vote online or by phone.
• Employees receive online orientation and benefits enrollment materials, and online W-2 statements.
In UnitedHealth Group facilities we are working to align with LEED Guidelines to reduce the waste generated by our operations and disposed of in landfills. We continue to expand waste management practices with new initiatives throughout the enterprise. For example:
• We implemented Back of House composting for food service operations at our largest headquarters office complex.
• Our OptumRx business was the first major pharmacy care services company to introduce fully sustainable medication packaging that replaces polystyrene, or foam. Safeguarding medications during home delivery is vital. Many medications, including specialty prescriptions, must be kept within strict temperature ranges to arrive safely and undamaged at their destinations. The OptumRx packaging is made from 100% renewable cotton and is biodegradable, compostable, reusable and recyclable, while also ensuring the safety and quality of medications remain intact.
Data as of 2019
UnitedHealth Group’s environmental policies are available for download.